Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prosecco-Lime Jelly with Nectarines and Blueberries



Finally, it's the home stretch for my finger and this incredibly bulky bandage/splint that I've been wearing around for the past two weeks--the bandages come off tomorrow! (and permanently, I hope).  And, at last, I'll be able to cook and bake and wash dishes again in the kitchen, shower without a plastic bag over one hand, hold my camera, properly take notes in class and not have them look like a kinderg√§rtner's chicken scratch, play vibraphone and piano--all of these little things for which we totally take our hands for granted.  (And, not to mention, walk around without having people stare at my bandaged-up middle finger. Even the proprietress at a local Chinese bakery today stared at my finger while I was fishing out change and asked accusingly, "What did you do to your hand?" --oh, the Chinese sense of privacy!)


Anyways, whilst I await anxiously these last hours prior to my finger's freedom, I wanted to share a recipe that I made a few weeks ago--just in time for you all to use up the last of the summer fruits before they disappear altogether from the markets!  This is such an incredibly simple and yet super sophisticated recipe that I stumbled upon when I was browsing for random recipes online, and it's a great way to enjoy fresh fruit with just a little bit of a twist: prosecco-lime jelly with white and yellow nectarines and blueberries.


This dessert really takes eating fresh fruit to a whole new level.  Here you have crunchy summertime nectarines and succulent blueberries encased and suspended in a delicately-jiggly, just-tart-enough, and just-sweet-enough prosecco-lime jelly.  The jelly melts in your mouth and just lightly coats the fruit with ephemeral whiffs of white wine and hints of lime reminiscent of the last lingering moments of summer we're having now that September's right around the corner.  And having the jelly truly transforms the experience of eating fruit, too: I made some small, portable servings and took them to the office, watching as people were fascinated and enchanted by the magical combination of fruit hovering in the surrounding jelly.


Now, I'm off to contemplate what the first dessert I should make after regaining use of my right hand is.  Suggestions???


Read on for the recipe...



Prosecco Jelly with Lime, Nectarines, and Blueberries
roughly adapted from Bon Appetit,August 2004
makes ~4-6 large individual serving sizes, depending on glass sizes

1 750 ml bottle Prosecco
3/4 cup cold water
2 Tbspn unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup sugar*
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
yellow nectarines (~3)
white nectarines (~3-4)
blueberries (a lot! > 1 lb.)

1. Pour the prosecco into a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the water and gelatin. Let sit for about five minutes as the gelatin softens and blooms.
3. Add the sugar to the gelatin and water and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar completely dissolves, but do not let the water boil. Remove from heat and whisk into the prosecco. Add the lime zest and juice. Let cool at room temperature briefly.
4. Slice or chop the nectarines as desired.
5. Layer the nectarine pieces and the blueberries in the serving containers that you are using. Pour the prosecco mixture over the fruit until the fruit is completely covered.
6. Chill until the jelly has solidified, about four hours.

Tip: I like a little bit of crunch in the nectarines to add texture to the fruit and gelatin mixture, so I used firm nectarines that were just turned ripe but hadn't yet softened up.
Tip: I like a lot of fruit in my jelly cups, so I really packed it in here, which is while I used over a pound of berries!



Enjoy!

18 comments:

  1. Yay for your hand! I've suddenly become appreciative of my currently un-hindered fingers as there's always some cut or burn around the corner for me...

    Gorgeous photos as usual, and in terms of suggestions? I say pick one that puts your fingers to good use :)

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  2. I love the mood of those photos! Here's to a super quick rest of your recovery :)

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  3. fruit looks amazing. Nice shots :)

    http://nicolefranzen.blogspot.com/

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  4. What a completely ingenious idea! And a great way to use up that seemingly endless box of unflavored gelatin packets I bought god-knows-when for god-knows-what-reason 8). So glad to hear about your hand, too!

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  5. Wow, this jelly sounds wonderful, and your photos are really beautiful. Nice!

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  6. What a nice, light dessert for the heat of summer. Actually, this would be good any time of day. ;)

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  7. You are out of control amazing. Wonder if this would work with agar agar too?

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  8. I love how dark and crisp the fruit looks! Can you please share what technique or props you used to produce this effect? What it done in photo shop after the fact?

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  9. Thank you so much, all!

    @Zom G.: I would be really curious too as to whether this would work with agar agar. I decided to use gelatin for this recipe because it yields a really soft and delicate texture whereas, in my experience, agar agar usually solidifies a little bit harder. But, I might try it at some point with agar agar and report back! It would be great for my vegetarian friends.

    @Nicole: Thanks! When taking these shots, I used a black foam core board instead of a white reflector to darken the shadows and not let any light reflect back onto the fruit. Then, in post-processing, I increased the contrast and added vignetting. The crispness of the fruit comes naturally from the "perfect image" feel that DSLRs these days have, so I played up the shadows and the texture in the wood to sort of counteract that.

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  10. Yum yum. I made some elderflower and sparkling water jellies with summer fruit in earlier in the summer - it's a shame we don't eat more jelly these days.

    Gorgeous photos, as ever.

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  11. Love this. I've never made a jelly before but I hold dear in memory the image of Nigella Lawson's beautiful Gin & Tonic gelatin mold in Domestic Goddess. You may have inspired me to finally give jellies a try!

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  12. Wow !! This looks really good and I'm sure it taste as awesome !! I would have to try my hands on this or some variant ;) !! Prosecco, limoncello and some autumn fruits. Glad you are getting back full use of your other hand !!

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  13. @Tunde: mmm... limoncello! Will have to try that. :-)

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  14. Wow !! This looks really good and I'm sure it taste as awesome !! I would have to try my hands on this or some variant ;) !! Prosecco, limoncello and some autumn fruits. Glad you are getting back full use of your other hand !!

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  15. Thank you so much, all!

    @Zom G.: I would be really curious too as to whether this would work with agar agar. I decided to use gelatin for this recipe because it yields a really soft and delicate texture whereas, in my experience, agar agar usually solidifies a little bit harder. But, I might try it at some point with agar agar and report back! It would be great for my vegetarian friends.

    @Nicole: Thanks! When taking these shots, I used a black foam core board instead of a white reflector to darken the shadows and not let any light reflect back onto the fruit. Then, in post-processing, I increased the contrast and added vignetting. The crispness of the fruit comes naturally from the "perfect image" feel that DSLRs these days have, so I played up the shadows and the texture in the wood to sort of counteract that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love how dark and crisp the fruit looks! Can you please share what technique or props you used to produce this effect? What it done in photo shop after the fact?

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are out of control amazing. Wonder if this would work with agar agar too?

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  18. fruit looks amazing. Nice shots :)

    http://nicolefranzen.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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